Sunday, April 5, 2009

Bush League....

...and proud of it! Thanks to using the Winter Sowing method, I've been able to find funds in my skimpy budget to pick up several more of the very inexpensive rooted cuttings still available at the local discount store. The newest acquisitions are native shrubs that come highly recommended. These are Redosier dogwoods and Silky dogwoods (as always, 2 to a pack). I potted up each cutting into it's own 1 gallon container. Once again I had advice from some new friends from the GardenWeb forum community (wave to Sonia). I got a good planting mix recipe to use when potting shrubs and trees. My plan is to allow the shrubs and the Amur maples to develop good root systems over the next 6-7 months and then plant them out in Fall.

The neighborhood has lost many trees over the past couple of years and I've also notice much less undergrowth. Since I want to have the sanctuary gardens certified as a wildlife habitat (why not go for broke?), I need to provide more cover, nesting and forage plants for the critters. Small trees and fruit producing shrubs will help. And the Amurs will help replace some the the privacy I used to have before Ike blew through town last October.

I'm keeping my eye out for more crabapples, dogwoods, redbuds, and other small ornamental, fruiting trees. Nut trees I don't need. Within a stone's throw there are oak, chestnut, hickory and a black walnut, so the squirrels are happy campers.

And not only am I buying rooted cutting, I'm now trying my hand at rooting some cuttings myself. My neighbor cut back his forsythia shrub and when I noticed all those whips in his brush pile, I rescued them from certain barbecue. I made up 5 containers of whips (plastic jugs in back row) to root. No roots yet, but they are leafing out and there are a few cheerful blooms.

With any luck, it's going to be a really busy this Fall. :-D


  1. It's going to be so pretty with the shrubs you have and the ones on your list. Isn't it nice winter sowing is giving you lots of plants as well as enabling you to buy more as well!

  2. Hi Kris- Looks to me like you have a great start for fall plantings. What kind of root medium do you use? I know some use sand but I have never done it and would like to try. And will a rooted cutting (1 twig) turn into a whole plant? I have no experience at all with this but it intrigues me.

  3. Good luck with your cuttings! I want to try some cuttings as well. I'd love to have forsythia but I think it may require more water than we usually have here. I need to ask around to find out though.
    I am going to try rooting some cuttings from the creeping phlox growing out front (when the snow melts that is).

  4. Catherine - yes, WS doesn't seem to have a downside. It's cheap, fun, real gardening in the dead of winter and almost magic when those jugs start to sprout. And let's not forget the wonderful WS online community!

    Heather and Amy - yes, a rooted cutting will turn into a clone of the original plant. I will make up a post about potting up my shrubs (rooted cuttings) as well as the potting mix I ended up with. I'll post it on the "Propagation Page". Look for the 'update date' on the sidebar to change.

  5. Good for you taking cuttings, and planting such a good variety of native shrubs. You're lucky to have a lot of space to do that.

  6. Lindab - yes I am lucky, though sometimes I can be rather overwhelmed by all this expanse of 'lucky' I want to fill. Still, it's not like it all has to get done in one year, or even five... ;-D

  7. I bet those forsythia cuttings will do great. My Dad once cut a small branch from a tree at my Grandfathers house and it grew into a huge beautiful tree. That was just amazing to me. I butchered my poor forsythias this year and have hardly any blooms at all. I should have pruned in the fall!

  8. PPQ - plants and shrubs are really very forgiving. It may look like an ugly duckling this season, but you'll come back!


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